1.Boykin's mistake was to put all these pieces together, implying that Islam itself is not merely mistaken but evil. Talking like this while in a U.S. military uniform was also pretty tactless. Mahathir's mistake, by contrast, was to open his trap at all.
2.Genius comes at a price, and it's usually those around the genius who pay it. Like a dark star, genius pulls people into its orbit, or sends them spinning off in unpredictable directions, or draws them down and consumes them. We are accustomed to thinking of talent as a creative force, but two new biographies remind us just how shockingly destructive it can be.
3.Whatever ailed Lucia, it made her both impossible to live with and unable to take care of herself. She spent the last 45 years of her life in institutions, incarcerated and medicated, until she died in 1982. Shloss's patient research expands what could have been a footnote to literary history into a tragedy of wasted promise. Shloss gives us a James Joyce we have never seen before, a portrait that encompasses both the great writer who subordinated everyone around him to the service of his art and the desperate.